Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 10- Favourite classic film

I think this prompt means to be magnanimous, designed to allow a modern audience to pick one ol' time movie they like, something Turner Classic Movies would show, presuming the meme writer watches mostly current stuff. But tonight, I'm in an irascible and impatient mood, and I find it a bloody annoying prompt. "Classic" is such a pesky word. It's not helped by the fact that many of the films that are considered famous classics I don't like (movies like Casablanca, The Third Man, Citizen Kane, Dr. Zhivago, Touch of Evil, Shane, High Noon, The Maltese Falcon, Notorious, 2001: A Space Odyssey... yeah, yeah, yeah, it's true. I don't like any of those movies. Shocked? Well, I warned you I was feeling cranky!)

So, to answer the darned question:

Before 1970: Paths of Glory (1957) - Just about the only Stanley Kubrick movie I not only like, but am in awe of it. Powerful, powerful movie with a great cast that just hits me in the gut every time and gets better every time I see it.

Post 1970: Star Wars (1977) - The movie love of my life, that changed my life. There's before-SW and after-SW, but I often think you really have to be about my age to get what that truly means. Seeing those previews on the little tv and going what the heck is that furry roaring creature? and then waiting in huge lines forever and experiencing that film for the first time in the theater, no spoilers, no clue what was coming or even what it was about, and when that Imperial cruiser goes and goes, and then zowie! space battle! and the good guys lose, and then Darth Vader's entrance... holy smoke, there was no experience quite like that one. Or waiting in line during the weeks that followed with two hundred other mom's and their kids, waiting for JC Penney's to open in the morning so you could get in and buy a t-shirt and the newest Star Wars figures. Or having your mom drive you to the department store (!) to meet Darth Vader and get his autograph. While you return and see the movie again and again in the theater because your family just can't get enough, and you know you're never going to see it again except on tv where things are tiny and panned and scanned and you'll miss what's on the sides so you'd better keep going until you have every frame memorized, every sound effect imprinted, all the dialogue memorized, every note of music... (And then, lo and behold! VCRs come out, and then DVDs, and you can see the movie again, and wide-screen to boot, and then Lucas goes and changes the movie you loved with his so-called special editions, "special" my Aunt Jenny's fruitcake, and that's a whole other story, but it doesn't detract from the original experience.)

And how was that for a massive slew of run-on, stream-of-conscious sentences? LOL!


  1. Anonymous1:38 AM

    You know, Paths of Glory is probably the only Kubrick film I haven't seen. Not out of choice, mind: I just can't remember it ever being shown on TV over here, and I haven't seen it on DVD, either. Very strange.

    I think I've seen your other pick, though. Once or twice. :-D

  2. Your description of the magic of the STAR WARS phenomenon and that time period is so spot-on!

    Before STAR WARS, as a younger child I used to beg my parents and grandparents to take me to reissues of THE SOUND OF MUSIC over and over, trying to memorize every frame, because I might not see it again for years and years.

    I'm still amazed I can play movies any time I want to!!!

    Best wishes,

  3. Rob - That is strange, but if it ever comes around, check it out. It's well worth the time. It's an amazing movie.

    Laura - Thanks! It was a phenomenon, not just a movie, wasn't it! I love meeting other people who went through that as well. And I know! I have a 2 1/2 year old nephew, who has obviously grown up with DVDs, with being able to say "again?" and the scene or musical cue magically repeats for him on the spot with the push of a button. My sister and I talk about this all the time, about what a trip that is, how when we were young, and the family was watching a movie on tv, that was it. If you looked away, you missed it, and you wouldn't be able to see it again until the station chose to play it again in a few months. I think we learned to watch movies with different eyes back then, because there was always the chance you'd never see it again. I was fortunate to have a mom who took us to see movies repeatedly when a good one was out, or was re-issued.

  4. I love your memories of Star Wars. I don't remember that time very well, but my mom told me that when we went to see SW in the theater, my sister dived under her security blanket when the first battle scene started and never emerged. She didn't tell me why she didn't just take the poor kid out of the theater! I guess the blanket was comforting enough?